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Conversation Around the Musical Hamilton Reveals the Hypocrisy of the Cancel Culture

Conversation Around the Musical Hamilton Reveals the Hypocrisy of the Cancel Culture

Cancel everything or nothing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjgn7DELmGM

The conversation around the musical, and now film, Hamilton proves consistency does not exist.

The musical Hamilton, based on Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, found fame and popularity on Broadway. They decided to debut the musical on Disney+ right when racism makes its way to the headlines.

Note: I have never seen Hamilton and have no plans on doing so. I cannot stand Alexander Hamilton and have no idea why anyone would make a play about him.

People have toppled statues. No one before the 1980s is safe. Criticism has ramped up against our Founding Fathers.

Alexander Hamilton was one of our founding fathers.

The debut of Hamilton on Disney+ started a conversation about him. People criticized the play because it leaves out an important part of his life (emphasis mine):

The musical and film version portray Hamilton as a ‘young, scrappy, and hungry’ immigrant and someone who was passionate about the abolition of slavery.

The production in light of recent Black Lives Matter protests has come under increased scrutiny with some pointing out that Hamilton was a slave trader.

The Founding Father married into a prominent New York slave-holding family, and managed the sale of slaves for his in-laws. He also did accounting for a Caribbean trading company that engaged in the slave trade.

#CancelHamilton trended on Twitter. Op-eds popped up, pointing out the problems with the Founding Father.

Loren Cecil and Tara Larson at Esquire had a few points:

Though he did not own or inherit slaves, Hamilton later became involved with the slave trade in the Carribean, The New Journal of African History reported. As a teenager, he took over operations of the entire St. Croix branch of Beekman & Cruger, an import-export business that engaged in the African slave trade and sugar business.

After he moved to the United States, Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler, who was a member of an influential, slave-owning family in Albany, New York. According to Harvard Law School Professor of History Annette Gordon-Reed, Hamilton bought and sold slaves for his in-laws.

Was Hamilton actually an abolitionist? Some say no:

Although the musical paints him as a revolutionary abolitionist who celebrates John Laurens’ dream of building “the first Black battalion,” historians say that this portrayal inflates Hamilton’s antislavery credentials. Gordon-Reed points out that opposing slavery was never at the forefront of his agenda.

Michael Newton, a historian and author of several books on Hamilton and the founding era, says that while Hamilton was a founder of the New York Manumission Society, which was an anti-slavery group, he did not seriously propose the total abolition of slavery. He also propped up several Federalist slaveholders as presidential candidates.

Ed Morales noted some of the problems of the play:

  • Portrays Hamilton as an immigrant, outsider, but in reality, he “never faced” discrimination.
  • Never shows that Hamilton wanted a monarchy.
  • Does not explain that he “compromised” his abolitionist beliefs “to protect property rights.”
  • His romance with Schuyler ignores the fact that her family was “one of the largest and most notorious slave-owning families in New York state.”
  • The concentration on Hamilton’s extramarital affair “glosses over his failure to speak out against the three-fifths compromise, which allowed Southern states to count Black people as three-fifths a person for representation purposes.”

Tracy Clayton, host of the Netflix podcast Strong Black Legends, criticized the play, describing it as “flawed,” but also said Hamilton “gave her ‘flawed and imperfect life a big boost.'”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star of Hamilton, replied:

‘Appreciate you so much, @brokeymcpoverty. All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game,’ he tweeted.

“Did my best.”

I thought for sure people would blast Miranda over this after the revelations of Hamilton’s past. Sure he was flawed like everyone else, but the cancel mob has gone after everyone.

The replies to Miranda’s tweet boggled my mind because so many accepted his apology. Look at this:

Ok, people. You cannot pick and choose. Either cancel everyone or everything with an “unsavory” past or nothing. But I guess since Miranda “did his best” and cast a bunch of non-white people makes it okay?

If a conservative made this play everyone would be up in arms for washing away Hamilton’s ties to slavery.

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Comments

I dislike entertainment “based on” history. It misleads the audience into thinking that they understand something of the real history, when all they really understand is something about showbiz.

The Progressive Church follows the Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent (“=”) religion. Technically, they are bigots always and never, and the liberals follow… diverge when there is a correlation with their special and peculiar interests. #PrinciplesMatter

JusticeDelivered | July 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm

“Ok, people. You cannot pick and choose. Either cancel everyone or everything with an “unsavory” past or nothing.”

How about we start canceling those cancelers? They need to pay for their activities. Maybe we could reduce their credit ratings to zero? Cancel their charge cards? Bank accounts?

    Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 8, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Who’s “we”? We are not credit rating companies, charge card issuers, or banks. Those companies are all unfortunately far more likely to do these people’s bidding than ours. (And the credit rating companies, at least, have a fiduciary duty to their customers to provide honest ratings, so even if they wanted to cancel these people’s ratings they couldn’t.)

Hamilton earned a Get Out of Woke Jail Free™ card when they insulted Trump and Pence at the beginning of their term.

I haven’t seen Hamilton. My beef with it arises from the fact that some white voice actors have stepped down from their jobs, where they portray blacks, in the last few weeks. I think there were other examples as well.

So why do we (or anyone) accept blacks portraying white historical figures in a play?

It’s all or nothing. Selective insanity is the worst kind of insanity. All or nothing, baby!

    I have not seen it either, but for a different reason. There were so many gushing reviews from people I had no respect for that I had to assume “Hamilton” was a steaming pile.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to WestRock. | July 7, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    This, 1000 times this. According to an ancestry search, I am Chinese, German, with a touch of Welsh, and an adoption into the Highland Clan MacPherson. I guess I cannot watch or pay for anything, let along perform.

    Subotai Bahadur

Forgive all dead people and get on with your life.

    Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | July 8, 2020 at 12:52 am

    No. Not ever forgiving Hitler, Khmelnytsky, Louis IX, Hadrian, Titus, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, or anyone of that ilk. Nor Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, Che, etc.

WestRock caught the most glaring hypocrisy of all. For years, Blacks, and some other minorities, have been complaining about not getting to play characters with their racial identity. They whined about whites getting these parts and whites engaging in cultural appropriation. Yet, they cast blacks to portray white founding fathers. WTH???

I tried to listen to a couple of the songs from this fantasy piece that uses historical characters. I couldn’t get through one song in it’s entirety. Maybe I picked the wrong ones, but I can’t stand hip hop, rap or anything that comes close to it.

I never held a desire to see it. It’s not history, which is fine, but Hamilton was among the group of the Founders who I never particularly liked. He was an opportunist, he stabbed his “friends” in the back numerous times to advance himself. I didn’t hold with a lot of his positions and thoughts. Why anyone would pick Hamilton as a center character to roughly base a “musical” (very loose on the musical part in my opinion) on him is beyond me.

Yet. If people like it. Go see it. I won’t. And it won’t affect my life in one tiny little bit.

I personally also do not have an issue with people of other races playing a part in a play or movie that is based loosely on history. Hamilton being Hispanic or even black is about as authentic as most of the “history” this puts out, so again, it doesn’t affect me the slightest bit. I do love the irony of them being made a focus though. Just for the sheer absurdity of it all. It helps illustrate that these people just hate.

Meh. Right now “Hamilton” is making big bucks for Disney, so there is zero chance of it getting cancelled. If Disney remade the KKK-friendly “Birth of a Nation” and if it were a cash cow like “Hamilton”, it would get a pass as well.

In the same fashion the Democrat Party, Yale University and Margaret Sanger will continue to be worshipped by the MSM/DNC axis.

They don’t believe the things they say they believe. They don’t care if they are hypocrites.

Mary,

Since you profess a dislike of Hamilton, does that mean you are on team A Burr?

Hamilton was the first yuppie in a way. A vastly driven and intelligent person who was far younger than most of the others in our pantheon of founders. He was arrogant but also very capable. Disagreeable but effective across several fields of endeavor. Carried a chip on his shoulder and used it as a fulcrum to propel his success.

Like all our founders he was human and thus flawed. I don’t disagree that he is on balance unlikable but he led a remarkably driven life full of meaningful accomplishments.

Ed Morales complains:
Portrays Hamilton as an immigrant, outsider, but in reality, he “never faced” discrimination.
And;
The concentration on Hamilton’s extramarital affair “glosses over his failure to speak out against the three-fifths compromise, which allowed Southern states to count Black people as three-fifths a person for representation purposes.”

Concerning the former complaint, since when is “facing discrimination” a prerequisite to being “an immigrant, (or) outsider”?
Concerning the latter complaint, then Mr. Morales should write is own play, in which he can gloss over Hamilton’s extra-marital affair, and concentrate on the compromise that allowed all 13 states to join a single union. (Which led directly to civil war and emancipation, neither of which would have happened if the north and south had parted ways after the Revolution.)

And exactly what is Mr. Morales’ concern with the compromise? I must ask, because I have seen at least one author in the past complain that slaves were “only” counted as 3/5 of a person, indicating that he believed they should have been counted as whole persons, apparently not understanding he was siding with slave holders on the matter. Does Mr. Morales believe the same?
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/why-its-time-to-repeal-the-second-amendment-95622/

My 18 year old granddaughter LOVES this play and had me watch it with her Sunday night.

It’s OK. Clever lyrics and staging, but the hypocrisy really bothered me. Careers have been ended because once upon a time someone appeared in blackface and others have been excoriated for donning costumes of another culture or race, but it is perfectly OK – no, in fact, INSPIRED – to have black and Asian actors play whites. I actually don’t care all that much about the color – it’s the blind one-sidedness that is frustrating. Rules for thee and not me and all that.

I didn’t like Hamilton. It wasn’t revolutionary just different. I prefer the songs of boy John Adams in ‘1776’. For God sakes John, sit down!

“The concentration on Hamilton’s extramarital affair “glosses over his failure to speak out against the three-fifths compromise, which allowed Southern states to count Black people as three-fifths a person for representation purposes.””

Morales is another historically ignorant person who has no clue as to what the 3/5s compromise was or what it was for. It WEAKENED the southern states. They were forced into it.

    DaveGinOly in reply to jack burton. | July 7, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Well, it was a compromise. The north didn’t get what it wanted (no slaves counted) and the south didn’t get them counted as whole persons. In my comment above you can see I wonder what Mr. Morales meant by his comment, because it is unclear whether he would have preferred them counted as whole people or not at all. I’m leaning towards “whole people,” because leftists have a poor grasp of history and details, and are quick to jump to their preferred conclusions (racist/Nazi/homophobe/misogynist/etc.) without taking the time to actually understand the issue they’re commenting on.

Mary Chastain: Note: I have never seen Hamilton and have no plans on doing so. I cannot stand Alexander Hamilton and have no idea why anyone would make a play about him.

It’s odd to criticize a work of art without ever having seen it. The show combines hip hop, soul, pop, and complex lyrics, while weaving a story about America’s founding. There’s a reason why so many people, mostly young, can recite thousands of words from Hamilton, which has had a profound impact on the arts, as well as reviving an interest in America’s history. And no, Hamilton is not depicted as the perfect hero. His tag line is

Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPrAKuOBWzw&t=8m17s

    alohahola in reply to Zachriel. | July 8, 2020 at 7:02 am

    I can criticize those horribly written lines and decide not to take in any of this “work of art.”

Of course there is the scene in “The Detour” about the mock Hamilton spin-off “B. Frank” about good old Ben Franklin.

Imagine trying to make this today, and this scene was only done a few years ago!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqt1s3No1vo

Mary Chastain: Note: … I cannot stand Alexander Hamilton and have no idea why anyone would make a play about him.

Why can’t you stand him? He was one of Washington’s Aides-de-camp, he wrote the majority of the Federalist Papers and help sell the Constitution to the states. He developed the whole governmental Treasury system that made this country great. He was the first to attack the Republican-Democrats (Jefferson Democrats) that we can not stand as democrats today. Mius the Neocon appeal that he may have brought to the table, the guy had great foresight. He was American’s first successful economist. The guy was a genius and used his talents at such a young age.

Sadly, the play is a joke on who Hamilton really was with a few half trues intermixed in the show.

What is funny is the liberals has made the founding father strongest supporter of Capitalism their hero. He is anything but that in regards to their stands.

So again, please explain to me why you can’t stand him? Some of the same reasons you might wage against him will be the same reasons to why you can’t stand Trump.

    guyjones in reply to MarkSmith. | July 8, 2020 at 8:42 am

    I was puzzled by Mary’s statement about Hamilton, as well. Not that the Founders are beyond reproach, but, this sentence seems to indicate some profound enmity for Hamilton the man, and, yet, Mary didn’t provide any elaboration as to why she “can’t stand” him.

Americans have a constitutional right to see “Hamilton.”

It’s one of our Lin-Manuel Miranda rights.

They aren’t going to actually cancel Hamilton.

But they’ll point to how Lin-Manuel Miranda was forgiven after apologizing as a way to encourage the squishy right to believe they can apologize their way out of the outrage.

“Ok, people. You cannot pick and choose.”

Um…yes they can. They do it all the time. Witness the treatment of the harassment claims against Biden vs against Kavanaugh. That’s just the latest example, there are myriads.

If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

I voted with my wallet……I had no desire to see it, no desire to hear the soundtrack and no desire to reward Disney or the playwright/composers’ efforts–they decided back in 2016 to show how woke they were with their disrespectful treatment of VP-Elect Pence and his wife.
The play is as accurate as Howard Zinn’s textbook on US history.

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George Washington in Hamilton

I wanna talk about what I have learned
The hard-won wisdom I have earned.
And if we get this right
We’re gonna teach ‘em how to say
Goodbye

If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on
It outlives me when I’m gone
Like the scripture says:
“Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid.”
They’ll be safe in the nation we’ve made
I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree
A moment alone in the shade
At home in this nation we’ve made
One last time

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